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Subject: ARCHIVE: February 8, 1987 ~Harriet MacGibbon, veteran stage, film, TV actress, rivaling contemporaries like Norma Varden and Eleanor Audley, and best known as the insufferably snobbish, "blue-blooded Bostonian" 'Mrs. Margaret Drysdale' on TV's "Beverly Hillbillies", dies at 81. ...

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Date Posted: Thursday, February 08, 12:31:08pm

American stage, film, and television actress best known for her role as the insufferably snobbish,
"blue-blooded Bostonian" Mrs. Margaret Drysdale in the long-running CBS sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies. ...

Harriet MacGibbon
(October 5, 1905 – February 8, 1987)

Early life and career ...
Harriet E. McGibbon was born in Chicago to Dr. Walter Peter McGibbon and Gertrude L. (née Crary) McGibbon. It is not known why she amended her surname by adding an "a", but she was credited a few times as McGibbon. She was "finished" at Knox School, Cooperstown, New York, where she prepared for Vassar. Without staying to receive a diploma, she left to fulfill her desire for the footlights and studied with Franklin H. Sargent at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.

Later, MacGibbon joined the stock company of Edward Clarke Lilley at Akron, Ohio. She then went to San Francisco and played leading roles for Henry Duffy. In Louisville, Kentucky, she acted with Wilton Lackaye, Edmund Breese, William Faversham, Tom Wise and Nance O'Neil. There were regular productions, including Ned McCobb's Daughter, The Front Page, The Big Fight, and a "transcontinental tour" starring MacGibbon in The Big Fight, which began in Boston, took in New Haven and Hartford, and ended at Caine's storehouse. During all of her travels while performing, MacGibbon managed to remain in Boston long enough to study the harp with Alfred Holy, first harpist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She later said that when she gave up the instrument, Mr. Holy, "with unconscious humor", remarked, "What a pity, Miss MacGibbon, you look so lovely with a harp."

...She had a long and distinguished career on the Broadway stage, beginning in 1925 at the age of nineteen when she acted in the play Beggar on Horseback at the Shubert Theatre. In the late 1930s, she did You Can't Take It With You, the Pulitzer Prize winning comedy, at the Biltmore Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles. From 1934 to 1937, MacGibbon portrayed Lucy Kent on the NBC radio soap opera Home Sweet Home.

She made numerous guest appearances on television starting in 1950, including Ray Milland's sitcom Meet Mr. McNutley. Another sitcom in which MacGibbon appeared was My Three Sons, performing as Margaret Cunningham opposite William Frawley, in the 1961 episode "Bub Goes to School". She was cast in only five theatrical motion pictures, including Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962), which was directed by Vincente Minnelli and starred Glenn Ford, Ingrid Thulin, Charles Boyer, and Lee J. Cobb. Unlike her stage roles, MacGibbon's movie and television roles usually consisted of snooty society ladies, including her well-known role as Margaret Drysdale on The Beverly Hillbillies.

Personal life and death ...
MacGibbon was married twice, to William R. Kane (divorced) and later to Charles Corwin White, Jr., which ended when White died on December 25, 1967. With her first husband she had one child, a son. Ten years after the death of her son, MacGibbon died at age 81 due to heart and lung failure. She was cremated and her ashes interred in niche 61046 in the Columbarium of Remembrance at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, CA. ...

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Subject Author Date
Wow, looks like her mother died a month before her 99th birthday! (NT)That's something for someone born in 1870s!Thursday, February 08, 12:44:39pm

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